CFP (conf): Hearing Landscape Critically: Sense, Text, Ideology


Music Faculty, University of Oxford, 18-19 May 2012

Nowhere is the only unattainable elsewhere; people are always already somewhere. This conference – the first of three inter-continental meetings between 2012 and 2014 – is concerned with any and all “somewheres” that might be thought of as landscapes.

Whether telescoped from afar or lived up close, landscapes are tense and contested sites of being, doing and remembering, of disaster and delight. In them we hear sounds, enact performances, partake in noise, rush and solitude. Yet these embodied and affective encounters are always already mediated in complex and conflicting ways; institutional,
inter-personal, and ideological dynamics render landscapes amenable to the agencies of power, knowledge and desire.

From vast expanses to private quarters, landscapes articulate multiple and overlapping scales: global, local, temporal, virtual, universal. Landscapes, moreover, are rarely static or stable; at the frontier and the fringe, in the warren and the den we find marginal, interstitial and oppositional spaces.

Like a landscape, this call for papers cannot help but mark out its terrain: while acknowledging the contribution of existing work on landscape, too many studies have been concerned with purely scopic analyses, leaving multi-sensory experience and the historical
materiality of landscape under-theorised. This conference thus seeks to expand, even explode our critical frames of reference, and develop alternative strategies for engaging critically and creatively with the poetics and politics of landscape.

Papers related to this agenda, including but not limited to the topics listed below, are welcome:

Sites of power, Questions of structure, Performing landscapes, Mobilities, Political concerns, Philosophical concerns

Keynote speakers:

Prof. Julian Johnson (RHUL), “Aural Fantasies: Music, Modernity and the
Imaginary Landscape”;

Prof. David Matless (Nottingham) will speak on landscape and sonic

How to send proposals:

All proposals should be emailed to criticallandscapes at (size limit = 5MB) by 31 December 2011. Please include name, affiliation (if applicable), postal address, email address and AV requirements on a separate cover sheet.

Individual papers (20 minutes) – abstract of no more than 300 words. Panel sessions – describe individual papers and overarching theme in no more than 500 words.

Alternative formats: describe your proposal (i.e. performance, round table, film discussion, or whatever it may be) in no more than 500 words.

NB. Unfortunately, funding for travel will NOT be generally available for delegates. However, there may be some funds for student travel bursaries. If you would be interested in this, please indicate so on your cover sheet.

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